If you are like “most” contact lenses wearers, you probably think wearing contact lenses is a much safer alternative than having eye surgery. But that is not necessarily the case. Until recently, even eye doctors thought LASIK surgery was riskier than wearing contacts. This is because the risks associated with eye surgery are different than the risks associated with wearing contact lenses. Complications from wearing contact lenses usually occur over a longer period of time while complications from LASIK surgery appear immediately or soon after the procedure. Truth be told, the safest way to correct your vision is to simply wear glasses. But that is not a reasonable option for many people for multiple reasons: work requirements, outdoor activities, vanity, etc. In fact, for people like first responders and military personnel, based on the environmental conditions they will encounter, contact lenses and glasses can be a handicap and ultimately a risk to their lives and the lives of whom these people protect.
At the New England Eye Center in Boston, Dr. Helen Wu sees many complications from contact lens wearers. Weekly Dr. Wu sees patients who have had complications from contact lenses due to long term contact lens abuse and eye infections that have resulted in the loss of lines of vision. If the patients are lucky enough to get in to see cornea trained Helen Wu, MD they will most likely have their vision saved and will be treated appropriately for their condition. But in some cases, these people come too late or are referred in and the results are often in the loss of lines of vision and even blindness. The reasons for these infections are too numerous to name here, but when you schedule your LASIK consultation with Dr. Helen Wu and refractive optometrist Dr. Jessica Stejna, you will be educated on risks, benefits, and alternatives of procedures and services. You will be given informed consent to review at home and if requested other patients will be available to speak to you about their experience. Most importantly Dr. Wu will tell you what your “specific” risks look like and will make a clinical recommendation on the best next steps for each person-individually.
As technology has advanced, blade free LASIK has become the gold standard for LASIK eye surgery. Having a blade-free procedure greatly reduces the risks that can occur during surgery. With the proper pre-and post-operative regimen and eye drops, patients experience little to no discomfort and are seeing clearly most often within a day. In many cases, patients can achieve vision with LASIK that is better than what they were able to see with the assistance of contact lenses and glasses. Additionally, other vision correction procedures are now available such as the Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) and advanced lens all-laser cataract surgery. For those people, who are averse to having LASIK, the removability of the Visian ICL is a favorable alternative. Over 500,000 ICLs have been implanted worldwide and this procedure has become a favorite of the military who already contribute to about 15% of all laser surgeries performed in the U.S.
Don’t let your fears stand in the way of learning more about your options. Schedule a complimentary consultation online today in Boston and learn more. You may also call 1-617-636-1055 direct to Christine McMahon, the refractive coordinator. Please also visit www.mylasikdoc.com and www.neec.com for more information. If you are happy in your contact lenses and are not ready to move forward, please commit to an eye exam at least every two years with your Optometrist or our Optometrists. You can schedule these in Boston or at any of our Satellite locations.